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Electric vehicle home charging scheme changes in 2022: What do I need to know?
The eligibility rules for grants to help pay for electric car home charger installation are changing – get in quick if you want to save money...
The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) gives eligible electric vehicle (EV) owners grants of up to £350 towards the cost of having a home charger installed.
It was introduced in September 2014, and by October 2021 it had paid out £78.9 million towards the installation of more than 157,000 devices. The similar Workplace Charge Scheme (WCS) has helped with the cost of installing over 16,000 workplace chargepoints since its introduction in 2016.
However, the eligibility rules are changing from 31 March 2022. We’ve got all the information you need about the scheme, including who is eligible for a grant, and how you can get money off the installation of your own home charger.
What is the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme?
The EVHS was created to encourage people to switch to electric cars by offering up to 75% off the cost of home charger installation. Initially, the grant was capped at £900, but the cap has been reduced over the years as the cost of home charger installation has fallen. Currently, the grant can provide up to £350 towards the cost of buying and installing a home chargepoint.
The average cost of a home charger is £850. Prices range from £300 for slower 3.6kW chargers to more than £1500 for faster 22kW points. For more information, read our guide to the best home charging solutions.
Who is eligible for it?
Currently, all homeowners with off-street parking who are registered as the owner of an EV (including most plug-in hybrids) are eligible for the grant. You can also be nominated by their employer if you drive one for work. If you’d like to check if your car is eligible, you can check the list on the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) website here.
If you’ve owned your EV for less than six months, or do not currently own one, you are not eligible for the grant and will have to pay in full for the purchase and installation of a home charger. You also won’t be eligible if you want to install more chargepoints than you have EVs registered to your household, or if you’ve already had two chargers installed through the scheme.
How and when will eligibility change?
Owners of detached, semi-detached, terraced houses and bungalows will no longer be eligible from 31 March 2022. The grant will instead be aimed at landlords of rental properties, and those living in leasehold flats. The idea is to remove a key barrier to EV uptake in densely populated urban areas.
Landlords will be able to make up to 200 applications for a maximum of £70,000 per year. Each property they apply for must have private parking, and there is no limit to how many chargers can be installed on a single property.
Owners of apartment blocks will be able to make up to 30 applications for a maximum of £900,000 per year. Up to £850 will be granted for each parking space allocated a chargepoint, and up to £500 will be awarded for parking spaces provided with the infrastructure to install a chargepoint in the future. At least five spaces per block must be dedicated charging bays with one or more accessible chargepoints.
However, no specific plans have been announced to install chargers en masse at local authority properties, and that could limit EV uptake in areas with lots of social housing. Recent measures to further develop local authority estates will only exacerbate the shortage of chargepoints in this sector.
How do you get the grant?
If you’re eligible, you can receive the grant in the form of a discount on your charger installation, as long as it is carried out by an approved EVHS installer. Your installer will check that you meet the criteria for the discount then deal with all the paperwork for you.
How do you find an authorised installer?
The OZEV site has a list of all the companies approved for EVHS installation, so start there if you're thinking of getting a charger fitted. We also suggest looking for local reviews and recommendations so you can choose the best company for your needs.
What else do you need to bear in mind?
Some recipients of the grant have told us that there can be a long wait to get your charger fitted. We recommend talking to the company you're thinking of choosing before committing to any work, and also getting the date of installation confirmed in writing.
After the grant was reduced to £350 on 1 April 2020, the Government still awarded up to £500 to those who could prove they had an installation arrangement agreed before 12 March, as long as the charger’s eventual installation happened before 31 May 2020. This exception may be offered again when the grant changes in March 2022, so make sure you get proof of your arrangements in writing in case you’re hit with delays.
Also, expect costs to vary depending on how long you’re happy to wait for your charger to be fitted.
When will the grants end?
The EVHS is due to expire at the end of March 2023, so grants will end then unless the scheme is renewed. It’s unlikely to be extended, though, because the Government is shifting its focus towards the eight million people unable to install a home charger.
Current plans include the introduction of the £950 million Rapid Charging Fund, which aims to improve the provision of rapid chargers at motorway and A-road service stations. A grant scheme incentivising the installation of charging stations in non-residential car parks is also planned.
The Government has plans to add better lighting and weatherproofing to public charging points to improve safety for users and make the charging experience more appealing.
Consumer protection measures are also being established, including the Electric Vehicle Consumer Code for Home Chargepoints (EVCC), which will establish a new code of practice for chargepoint manufacturers, suppliers and installation companies.
The EVCC will also provide buyers with a formal complaint process and dispute mediation service, managed by Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd, a non-profit organisation specialising in codes of conduct for renewable energy companies.
Announcing the new measures in February 2021, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s essential that EV drivers feel confident using the public chargepoint network.”
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